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Empirical Methods of Mineral Resource Estimation
October 8, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm$1850
The mineral inventory of a mining or exploration company is quantified as resource/reserve estimates with associated error levels that, in many cases, are unknown. Consequently, the estimation procedure should incorporate efforts to minimize errors at every level of decision.
This short course will consider the detailed methodology of various resource/reserve estimation methods that are in common use in the Mining Industry. Emphasis will be on general procedures, inherent assumptions, and advantages and limitations of each of the principal methods. Methods to be discussed include: polygonal estimation, nearest neighbour estimation triangular estimation, contour estimation, method of sections (plans) estimation, inverse distance estimation, and reference to various geostatistical methods. All of these estimation methods have significant practical limitations for appropriate use.
For many of the estimation methods, decisions are required that have a bearing on classification of resources/reserves. Consequently, criteria for classification will be discussed from the perspective of the estimation procedure.
All methods require assumptions, either implicit or explicit, that impact significantly on quantity and quality of estimated resources/reserves, for example, block size, search radius, anisotropy, geological continuity, grade continuity, stationarity, etc. The nature of these assumptions will be discussed in detail.
A laptop computer, while not essential during the course itself, would be useful.
Attendees may want to purchase a copy of the book, “Applied Mineral Inventory Estimation”, (pictured above, right) for further study at leisure. Note that it is not essential for course attendees to have the book while at the course.